Fairness. Dignity. Respect.

A better life for RAs.

It’s the clarity and protection of TA work, covered by TSSU, that I appreciated most. It’s nice to have people in the union that can help you or a collective agreement to consult. Why is everything about being an RA so opaque? An RAship is like a blackbox.

Anonymous RA in the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology


Research is Work!
We are research assistants (RAs) at SFU campaigning to unionize with the Teaching Support Staff Union (TSSU). In two months, over 500 research assistants have signed union cards – that’s over 500 research assistants who are demanding their democratic right to choose to join a union!

What Problems Do We Face as RAs?
X No guaranteed rights or benefits
X Late pay, inconsistent pay, no pay
X Substandard working conditions
X No guaranteed employment
X Unclear contracts, no contracts

How Do We Unionize?
1. Sign a union card! We have until November 21 to collect signed cards from 45% of all RAs at SFU
2. Vote! The BC Labour Relations Board will hold a cross-campus, secret-ballot vote for all RAs to say YES to a union!

Who can sign a card?
Anyone who receives or is owed compensation for RA work performed during the Fall 2019 semester can sign a card.
✓ Graduate RAs
✓ International RAs
✓ Undergraduate RAs
✓ Non-student RAs

How can I be sure if I’m an RA?
✓ If your contract says you’re an RA
✓ If your job title says RA on myinfo.sfu.ca
✓ If you’re receiving compensation through SFU (pay, scholarship, etc.) for research
✓ If you’re receiving an RA top-off *
✓ Still not sure? Contact us!

*An RA top-off if often paid in addition to TA pay or a Graduate Fellowship to honour your guaranteed funding amounts. This is common in the Faculty of Sciences and Applied Sciences! Often this top-off is paid as scholarship income. This makes you an eligible RA: sign a union card today!

Do people have to know I signed?
Only if you want to tell them. Your right to unionize is protected by BC Labour Law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Your are not required to disclose your involvement in this campaign to anyone, including your supervisors, departmental staff, or SFU Administration. Contact us immediately if you are concerned that your rights are not being respected.